Prepping Your Hair for Your Wedding Day

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2006

Choosing a hairstyle, accessories, and deciding who will do your up-do are just a few of the many decisions you'll make when planning for your wedding. To help, we've pulled together some of our favorite bridal hairstyles, accessories, tips for working with a stylist, and what to do to prep your hair before the big day.

Bridal Hairstyles
You may have a hairdo in mind for your wedding day, but it's always a good idea to work with a stylist who can help you explore your options or fine tune your vision. Before you visit the salon get inspiration from our gallery of hairstyles.

Elegant Accessories
Barrettes, Brooches, and Pins
Combs and Tiaras

Working with a Stylist
For a consultation, bring the hair accessories you plan to wear, including your veil, and a picture of your dress. A good stylist will ask about the formality of your wedding and tailor the look you want. Find a style you're comfortable with: If you like to wear your hair in a ponytail, consider an updo; a bride who rarely pulls her hair back may prefer a style that frames her face. Pay attention to how long it takes to style your hair so you'll know how much time you'll need to allot on the day of the wedding, and note how well the hairdo holds up. Last, remember to take pictures of your hair at different angles to see how it looks in photos.

Pre-Wedding Hair Prep
When should you...

Book a Consultation
Meet with a hairstylist three to five months before the wedding, sooner if you plan to change your look. "Make sure that what you want will work with your color, length, and style," says stylist Janet St. Paul, of Butterfly Studio in New York.

Start Growing Out Short Hair
Typically, for every half-inch you'd like to add to your length, you'll need to allow one month of growing time. If you don't reach your goal, hair extensions can always be added.

Color Your Hair
If it's your first time coloring your hair, start at your initial consultation and get touch-ups about every eight weeks. Subtle highlights warm up the hair, says St. Paul. Do a final coloring two weeks before the wedding.

Have a Haircut
Two weeks before the wedding, freshen up the shape of your style, but don't take off any substantial length from the bottom.

Wash Your Hair
Don't wash your hair the day of your wedding, stylists say. Instead, shampoo it the day before and use only a light conditioning rinse. Hair that's too smooth won't hold a style well.

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